Three immediate impressions from the Seahawks’ utterly bizarre and completely bananas 38-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at an empty CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks are now 3-0 and travel to Miami next week.
Russell Wilson makes history
Russell Wilson became the first QB in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes (or more) in each of his team’s first three games, and his 14 touchdown throws are the most in league history through three games, eclipsing Patrick Mahomes’ 13 TD passes from 2018.
Wilson’s fifth and final TD pass of the game was his most clutch throw of the season — a 29-yard floater into the end zone for DK Metcalf, who held on tight with two hands to give the Seahawks a 36-31 lead. Wilson added a two-point throw to tight end Jacob Hollister.
Wilson finished 27 of 40 for 315 yards with five touchdowns and a QB rating of 130.7. He has a 14-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Metcalf was able to redeem himself for an inexcusable turnover late in the first quarter, when he hauled in a 63-yard pass from Wilson and started to casually jog toward the end zone — only to have the ball punched out of his hand at the Dallas 1-yard line.
Credit to Dallas rookie Trevon Diggs for the heads-up play to sneak up on Metcalf and knock the ball out of the end zone, but there’s no other way to put it: That was just a bone-headed play from Metcalf. That can’t happen.
Another major bummer for the Seattle offense: running back Chris Carson left the game with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter and did not return. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. He was able to get up and walk to the sideline on his own.
Rookie right guard Damien Lewis also exited with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Lewis has been one of the most consistent linemen for the Seahawks through two games, and one of the best in the NFL at run-blocking. That’s not a small loss if he’s out long-term.
After taking that 30-15 lead early in the third quarter, the Seahawks offense struggled for most of the second half. Aldon Smith, the former 49ers star, finished with three sacks of Wilson, who was good on Sunday but not nearly as sharp as he’d been in the first two games.
Case in point: On a third-and-3 throw with less than 3 minutes left, Wilson’s pass intend for Metcalf was a little high — and fell incomplete off Metcalf hands. Wilson was able to convert a fourth-down throw to tight end Greg Olsen, keeping the drive alive.
Tyler Lockett had three touchdown catches from Wilson, finishing with nine catches for 100 yards.
Jamal Adams exits with groin injury
We’ll get to the Seahawks defense in just a moment, but this was about the worst development possible for Seattle: Jamal Adams left the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
Adams planted awkwardly on a blitz, then immediately limped off the field. Again, there was no immediate word on the severity of the injury, but Adams has been an enormously important addition to this Seattle defense — and there has to be significant concern about how the defense can manage if he’s out for any extended period of time.
Making matters worse, the Seahawks were already without Lano Hill, their primary backup safety. He was inactive with a hip injury.
Ryan Neal, promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, took over for Adams at strong safety for the rest of the fourth quarter and sealed Seattle’s win with an interception late in the game.
Another big day for opposing QB
Where do we start with the Seahawks defense?
If things were ugly for the Seahawks in the first two weeks — and they were pretty darn ugly — then were downright disturbing in the second half Sunday.
But, as has often been the case, the Seahawks’ defense rose to the occasion just in the time — getting a stop once again in the game’s closing seconds.
Defensive end Alton Robinson, a fifth-round pick out of Syracuse, made his NFL debut on Sunday and sacked Dak Prescott in the final seconds. On the next play, Prescott escaped pressure, floated a pass into the end zone — and was intercepted by — who else? — Neal.
No defense in the NFL had allowed more big plays in the first two weeks than the Seahawks, and no one had allowed more passing yards than the Seahawks.
Prescott torched the Seahawks for pass plays of 52 and 42 yards as the Cowboys needed just 39 seconds to cover 94 yards to score on Cedrick Wilson’s 42-yard catch-and-run. Shaquill Griffin was beat in coverage.
Prescott’s 43-yard TD pass to Michael Gallup beat the coverage of Tre Flowers and pulled the Cowboys within 30-28 with 3:13 left.
Flowers dropped a sure interception on the next drive, with the ball bouncing to Gallup for a completion. Greg Zuerlein’s 42-yard field goal gave the Cowboys a 31-30 lead with 2:12 left.
The Cowboys got it back one more time, but the Seattle defense — as dramatic as ever — got the one stop it had to have.